MP on board driverless car push

DRIVERLESS cars could see an end to human error on the roads - and Queensland politicians are on board.

Speaking at a road safety conference in Canberra, Kallangur MP Shane King said technological advances in vehicles talking to each other could lead to safer roads.

Mr King was speaking to the conference in the place of Queensland Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey who could not attend.

Mr King said the prospect of self-driving cars was "exciting" but admitted it faced challenges.

"Research suggests about 90% of road crashes are caused by human errors. Human error is often quoted as a potential safety benefit of automated vehicles," Mr King said.

"This is an eye-opening number although it's not yet been confirmed through international trials, at a minimum it should reduce alcohol, distraction, drug involvement and or fatigue involved crashes."

"These new capabilities present exciting opportunities and real challenges as we look to the future of road safety."

Connected and autonomous vehicles were a major theme of the Australasian Road Safety Conference 2016 with multiple speakers discussing the potential benefits and issues the technology could bring.

Car manufacturer Tesla has recently released semi-autonomous vehicles for testing - but the conference heard fully self-driven cars are years away.

University of NSW researcher Ann Williamson told the conference there were risks with how drivers were able to resume control of a semi-autonomous car quickly in the event of an emergency. She suggested waiting for fully automated cars to reach market instead of putting semi-autonomous cars on the roads.

ARM NEWSDESK



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